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Thursday, August 23, 2012

Tuesday, August 21, 2012

Retreat

Glory to you, O Lord.  You are here.

We are now in our second day of the retreat that many of you helped us pay for.  I knew beforehand that God would surprise us with His presence, but I never could have imagined to what degree.  It feels like we showed up into His personal living room, welcomed with cups of tea, bowls of sugar and buckets of grace.  It doesn't hurt that there is a flower blooming here that smells like it may have been transplanted from Heaven.  Aroma.  Joy in my nose.

Michelle has been made an official auntie.  This took me 3 trips.. it took her 3 days.  I love her anyway... what a blessing she is in this place, not only to the children but to me.  We have been sharing in the leading and teachings.  We've been studying the life of Joseph with the children.  There may be nothing sweeter than to be reminded that at times in life we find ourselves in circumstances we never deserved, and yet, like Joseph, God is always with us. He can favor us in prisons or in palaces.  He can have great plans for us in low rungs.  Our destination is Heaven either way!  Yes, Lord! And in my best Zim impersonation, I'm saying "praise Jesus, hey".

Last night we encountered a spider.  And ants.  Good times.

A sweet one came to me after a talk today and confessed that he/she doesn't feel any reason to live.  The family situation has left a deep wound.  Abandonment hurts.  While we continue to pray for BFGO to be able to do good works among orphanages, can we please remember to pray for the tender hearts of the wounded?

We are beginning the work of collecting data for the Child Sponsorship Program.  The children are eagerly writing letters for the sponsors they hope to have some day.  I'm no longer praying and hoping for God to bring our sponsors for the children.  I am thanking Him for what He has already prepared and planned.  You guys... whoever you are... you are so lucky to have these children in your lives.  If God would send me a windfall.... I'd sponsor them all and not share.  But alas....

Thank you for catching up on our time here in Zim.  It is so much more than I could ever write.

In His Love,
~  melissa irwin
executive director

Sunday, August 19, 2012

Zim Baby - part VI

You win some.  You lose some.  This time, we won.

The biggest challenge Michelle and I faced coming to Zim this time was with our luggage.  We packed valuable and large items (office equipment) to gift to the orphanage organization to help with its management, organization and efficiency.  Technically we carried too much.  There is always a concern when flying the particular route that we flew (intentionally vague)... that items may be stolen when transferred from one plane to the next.  For that reason, we had to carry our valuable items on our person.  With that we were concerned about security and questioning.  Bringing such things into the country can be frowned upon... and if authorities want to they can either confiscate or impose a hefty tax.  We had prayed much in advance for all of these possible negative outcomes to be avoided.  We did have 2 very close calls and I feel certain I made one enemy in transit...however, God graced us with amazing favor.  For some reason, once we landed here, our bags were not checked AT ALL.  Everything made it through.  Glory!  Your prayers for traveling mercies have been a gift.. please continue to pray.  We are winning.

Having Michelle (a new Board Member) here with me this time is an immeasurable gift... and I may never be able to put fully adequate words to the meaning. She is at home here in more ways than one and I thank God for her.  The kids have instantly taken to her and it has been so nice to divide spotlights, to feel that none of the children is being overlooked and untended to.  If there is anything better than one visitor, it is 2.  Thank you, Jesus, for Michelle.  (And if there is anything better than 2, it is 3.  Hint Hint.)

The orphanages are way behind in their expenses.  This is hard to see and hard to know, but hard drives results.  I have never been more determined than now to use the place that God has given me to serve and the voice he has asked me to broadcast to work hard.  Due to finances there is a food shortage here.  The kids have been eating bread for breakfast and porridge for lunch without any meat, vegetables, fruits or dairy.  As you can imagine, they are hungry.  They do not dwell on hunger or complain about it.  Michelle and I purchased a ton of fruit and vegetables and last night we treated the older children (we stay with) to delicious meat pie.  It was such a joy to observe their delight in eating a simple meal.

During the day yesterday we played with the younger children.  They did some dances for us and were treated to some pecans that had blown over onto the property from a neighboring property with pecan trees.  I asked Momma Fatima where the pecans came from and she responded "It is truly a miracle. God has blessed us with a wind that blows pecans to us."  My friends, if that isn't manna then I don't know what is.  I had some pecans too.  Teeth are nutcrackers... did you know?

The girls have been cleaning the carpets with brushes and hot soapy water.  I swear, if I had to clean my carpets that way... well, I'd throw temper tantrums.

The hugs are even tighter in this Part VI.  It is amazing to observe how love swells and continues to grow.  Nothing about this place is foreign to me anymore.  When I arrived, they said... "welcome home".  Home is right where Jesus places you; He calls us to locations to love.  To each of us He has granted a territory and to each He has appointed a position and a task.  Michelle and I are studying the life of Joseph while we are here because we'll be teaching in a few days.  Something impressed on my heart today is that Joseph, by accepting God's will and keeping his posture toward the Lord even in desperate circumstances, was eventually appointed to a position of power.  However, in this power Joseph remained enslaved for quite some time.  In power, he was a prisoner.  Eventually Joseph was appointed to be 2nd in command over all of Egypt.. but his position was not royal.  Joseph didn't cease to be a servant and even when it appeared that Joseph had much as in influence and access, he had been entrusted with a hugely significant amount of responsibility.  He didn't have a relaxed, laid-back, easy going life on any level.  Obedience and walking in God's will doesn't promise us ease... if anything, it appoints for us great responsibility.  We can never be more than 2nd in command... always in service to our great King.

Today we are going to church to worship corporately but everyday we are singing His praises.


Tuesday, August 14, 2012

Introducing ~ David M.


His eyes and smile say more about him than I ever could. He will be 8 in December.
David was abandoned at a museum in Zimbabwe when he was a little more than 1 year old.  Someone found him and dropped him off at a hospital where he was determined to be very malnourished, and quite probably near death. In fact, he was so unhealthy that he had to remain in the hospital for 6 months.  About 1 month before his 2nd birthday, David was placed in the orphanage and has been there ever since.  I am grateful that he was too young to remember the trial he went through. If he was so malnourished, I wonder about his momma... maybe she was dying too.  Maybe abandoning him was the only way she knew to possibly preserve his life, in this situation.  Who knows?  But God had a plan for David's life, for David to have this beaming smile and sparkling eyes.

David needs 3 sponsors to cover his monthly needs, including food, education school fees, the cost of housing at the orphanage and other essentials.  Please consider sponsoring him at one of these levels, $25, $30 or $35 per month, and if you can help round up 2 other sponsors for him... well, that is joy.  Our child sponsorship program is going to be launched officially at the beginning of October, but you are welcome to "claim" him now.  Just contact me at melissa @ beautifulfeetgo (dot) com.

**Myself and one of our board members are flying to Zim tomorrow and will be spending time with the kids at the orphanages for 2 weeks.  Please keep us in your prayers as we provide love and ministry to these tender kiddos.  Please pray that we honor God with our service to Him and in His name.

Tuesday, August 7, 2012

Introducing ~ Caleb


This is sweet Caleb.  Caleb was abandoned at a maternity hospital.  I am unclear about the details but my interpretation of the details is that his mother may have checked him in to be examined.  She apparently gave a false name and address for herself.  She left the baby and never came back. The police investigated the address and no one knew of her.  Caleb has been in the orphanage ever since.  
Caleb is 7 and will be 8 in December.  He is precarious and sneaky... almost just like my own little 7 year old.  Caleb will be starting school soon.  I can't wait to see him next week... he is the wildest (and strongest) little one... I have a feeling that a wrestling match is already in the works.

Please consider sponsoring Caleb!  And please consider finding 2 other friends/family/co-workers, etc. to sponsor him with you.  He needs 3 sponsors to cover all of his needs, at $25, $30 and $35 per month.

God bless and thank you for your support of BFGO.

Friday, August 3, 2012

Zim Babies

I will soon be introducing you individually to these precious ones, but for now just wanted to share some photos.  These are photos I took in December 2011 when I was last in Zim... many more kiddos who will be needing sponsors.  Please plan to follow along with this blog and my personal blog www.bfgomelissa.com as I travel back to Zim from 8/15 - 8/29.  I have such great hope and am sending up many prayers that we will be able to match 3 sponsors to every child before Christmas.  Please help us spread the word.

While you are here, will you please sign up to receive these blog updates via your email so that you don't miss anything?  Thank you and God bless.